Family Minister Kristina Schroder probably doesn’t want to go on: she capitulates to German conditions – and to herself.
Family pushed forward: The Union and its unclear image of family and women are Schroder’s real problem. Image: reuters
Is she out? Our family minister, who has embodied the Union’s contradictions in such an unfortunate way for some time now? The rumor is that Kristina Schroder does not want to become a minister again after the Bundestag elections. Out of consideration for her family. It would be an exit that fits.
If the Hessian CDU leadership, which started the rumor, is to be believed, Schroder finds the balancing act between the ministry and motherhood "very hard," and it would be even more complicated with another child. According to a "political friend," however, "being a mother is more important to Schroder than being a minister. That’s the kind of friend you want to have.
It sounds like the final surrender to the circumstances: Women in Germany simply can’t reconcile family and career. But who, if not Schroder, could have led the way? The Ministry of Family Affairs was the first government agency to make it possible to combine an executive job with motherhood: Many things would have been conceivable.
As it is, however, the reason "family" seems rather pretextual. It is more likely that Ms. Schroder is no longer in the mood, and that the family will have to serve as an explanation that can be easily communicated within the party. The CDU/CSU and its unclear image of family and women are Schroder’s real problem. Serving the conservative state party and at the same time wanting to strengthen the young and female element was a contradiction in terms from the very beginning, because the young and female clientele is simply not in the same place as the Hessian CDU in terms of family policy.
And so Schroder resorted to strange constructs: "For reasons of democratic theory," she did not want a fixed quota for women in business. Then, as a progressive woman who had herself become a mother in office, she had to defend the ominous childcare allowance. And she kept the handbrake on the expansion of daycare facilities, so as not to put too much pressure on the conservatives.
Schroder is not only failing herself, she is also failing the CDU’s image of women.